Colleen Peachey
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Colleen Peachey

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Product Review: Noble Outfitters Ashley Performance Shirt & Signature Breech

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

While in the saddle, I feel like the fabric of both the Ashley Performance Shirt and the Signature Breeches are non restrictive and really moves with me. And while being comfortably active, the lightweight fabric also helps by wicking away moisture quickly from my skin. Photo by Lorraine Peachey While in the saddle, I feel like the fabric of both the Ashley Performance Shirt and the Signature Breeches are non restrictive and really moves with me. And while being comfortably active, the lightweight fabric also helps by wicking away moisture quickly from my skin. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

Most days after I arrive home from work, I’ve found myself riding. When you have a horse in training, it’s really important to keep a consistent schedule. And for me, it’s been a great feeling to spending so much time in the saddle.

Spending so much time in breeches and boots means that I prefer to find apparel options that work well for me. Comfortable and functional are the two key characteristics that I look for in any piece of riding apparel that I like to wear.

And since it’s the middle of the summer season, keeping cool is also a consideration. I tend not to do so well when I start to overheat. So It’s especially important that I outfit myself in preparation for riding in warm temperatures.

One of the outfits that has been a part of my riding wardrobe this season includes the Ashley Performance Long Sleeve Shirt, paired with the Signature Breech. Both pieces are from Noble Outfitters, and look and perform beautifully together.

Let’s start from the top down, shall we? The Ashley Performance Long Sleeve Shirt is a lovely quarter zip thats made to suit riding in warm and sunny weather. The super lightweight fabric is rated with UPF 50+ protection, to help shield against the sun’s harmful rays.

Looking a little closer at the fabric, the content is a 91% Tactel nylon and 9% spandex, which is feather light and stretchy. And the back of the shirt? It includes a stretch mesh panel that is ultra breathable to help promote air flow.

The Ashley Shirt also includes some other terrific features for comfortable riding. Opti Dry Technology helps to pull away moisture quickly from skin. And let’s not forget the patterned and chic looking power mesh underarms to promote addition ventilation.

Keeping cool is a bit easier with the well ventilated Ashley Shirt. Not only does the stretchy mesh panel allow for more airflow...the super cute patterned under arm power mesh does so too. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Keeping cool is a bit easier with the well ventilated Ashley Shirt. Not only does the stretchy mesh panel allow for more airflow…the super cute patterned under arm power mesh does so too. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

And it’s the little details that help set the Ashley Shirt apart. The princess seam side panels, coupled with the flat seam construction help to provide a flattering fit. The mock neck also does feature a stock tie loop on all colors of the shirt.

Onwards to the Signature Breeches! Something that I noticed right out of the gate is that the Signature Breeches include a number of the same specs and fabric technologies that the Ashley Performance Shirt does.

Like the Ashley, the Signature Breeches also boast UPF 50+ protection against the sun’s harmful rays. Also, the cotton/nylon/elastane blend fabric also features Opti Dry Technology, which again, helps wick away moisture quickly.

From there, the Signature Breeches branch out and bring some other terrific features to the table. The ultra smooth fabric also includes 4-way stretch, for a flattering and comfortable fit. They also feature a mid ride, euro seat design for modest coverage.

The Signature Breeches feature a front zip closure, as well as a zip pocket on the left front. I also find the belt loops are a nice feature, especially with the added extra belt loop with the Noble Outfitters Signature Strip pattern.

Another feature not to overlook are the Toray ultrasuede knee patches. The slightly darker coloring contrasts with the tan of the Signature Breech nicely. And, they are more than just a pretty face, when they help provide extra grip in the saddle.

What do I really feel like when riding in the Ashley Performance Shirt paired with the Signature Breeches? Both pieces fit me comfortably, and help flatter in all of the right places. And looking great also helps me to feel more confident! Photo by Lorraine Peachey

What do I really feel like when riding in the Ashley Performance Shirt paired with the Signature Breeches? Both pieces fit me comfortably, and help flatter in all of the right places. And looking great also helps me to feel more confident! Photo by Lorraine Peachey

Enough about features: what do I really feel like when riding in the Ashley Performance Shirt paired with the Signature Breeches? Both pieces fit me comfortably, and help flatter in all of the right places. And looking great also helps me to feel more confident!

While in the saddle, I feel like the fabric of both pieces is non restrictive and really moves with me. And while being comfortably active, the lightweight fabric also helps by wicking away moisture quickly from my skin.

Keeping cool is a bit easier with the well ventilated Ashley Shirt. Not only does the stretchy mesh panel allow for more airflow, the super cute patterned underarm power mesh does so too. I gain additional ventilation by partially unzipping the quarter zip mock neck.

And keeping a grip has been made easier for me while wearing the comfortable Signature Breeches. Flattering both on the ground and in the saddle, the Signature Breeches are also extremely comfortable to wear.

Plus, they offer a good amount of grip. Which has been helpful for me, especially when I’m riding my pony while he is learning how to jump and gallop like a ‘big boy.’ The Toray ultrasuede knee patches really give me grip when and where I need it.

Both the Ashley Performance Long Sleeve Shirt and the Signature Breeches are available from Noble Outfitters. The Ashley Shirt is available in a number of colors, some with patterned power mesh panels. It has a retail price of $64.95, and you can find it here.

The Signature Breeches are available in sizes 24 through 34 in a traditional tan color, which is designed with the show ring in mind. They have a retail price of $149.95, and you can find them here.

Go Staying Cool in the Saddle. Go Noble Outfitters. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Weatherbeeta Supa Fly Insect Shield Fly Sheet

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

I definitely like that the Supa Fly sheet blocks up to 70% of UV rays. Definitely a plus considering Roo's dark bay coat is prone to bleaching out in the sun. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. I definitely like that the Supa Fly sheet blocks up to 70% of UV rays. Definitely a plus considering Roo's dark bay coat is prone to bleaching out in the sun. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I can’t get enough of the bright and sunny weather of the summer season. The warm weather. The long days. It’s been absolutely lovely to change into my riding clothes each day after a long day in the office, so that I can go ride my pony.

After pulling off a quick wardrobe change, I head out to bring the boys in from their pasture. That’s usually when I start to try to fend off those pesky biting flies. I’m apparently quite the draw for those tiny winged nuisances. My horses, however, seem quite comfortable.

That’s because before I turn them out each morning, I tack several extra minutes onto my routine. After feeding. Mucking stalls. Filling water buckets. And tossing out some flakes of hays. I make sure to outfit my boys in their armor … fly armor, that is!

At my farm, every horse gets their own fly sheet and fly mask. Why? Because I can’t imagine allowing them to be irritated and practically eaten alive by flies in the field. The tail swishing, weepy eyes and numerous welts really warrant some fly protection.

My young pony in training, Rufus, definitely needs his fly protection. He is particularly sensitive to insect bites, and is prone to welts during the summer season. So I definitely make sure that he has adequate fly protection so he doesn’t get eaten alive.

This season, I’ve been wearing the Weatherbeeta Supa Fly Insect Shield Detach A Neck Fly Sheet. While the name might be a bit of a mouth full if you try saying it five times fast, it helps to highlight some of my very favorite features of this particular fly sheet.

The Supa Fly sheet also features a removable neck cover, which is comfortably loose fitting. It can be easily attached or detached with four velcro loop closures. Plus, I like the velcro loop at the top that I can use to attach the top to a halter to keep it in place. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Supa Fly sheet also features a removable neck cover, which is comfortably loose fitting. It can be easily attached or detached with four velcro loop closures. Plus, I like the velcro loop at the top that I can use to attach the top to a halter to keep it in place. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Supa Fly sheet is constructed out of a supa (or super!) strong mesh material. The mesh outer is lightweight, and it works double time to keep Roo protected from bugs and from overheating under the warm summer sun.

What exactly are the standout features of the Supa Fly sheet from my perspective? Out of the gate, I found myself smitten with the fully detachable belly band of the sheet. Roo gets particularly bothered when bugs bite at his sensitive belly, so this was a huge plus!

I also found myself really interested to try out the Supa Fly sheet, since it features Insect Shield technology. Which helps to provide Roo with effective and long lasting personal protection from mosquitoes, ticks, flies and fleas.

And the really cool part? The Insect Shield technology was made to be effective for up to 25 washes of the Supa Fly sheet! Also, it is worth mentioning that the Insect Shield Repellent that the sheet is treated with is EPA registered as well.

The Supa Fly sheet also features a removable neck cover, which is comfortably loose fitting. It can be easily attached or detached with four velcro loop closures. Plus, I like the velcro loop at the top that I can use to attach the top to a halter to keep it in place.

Other features that I find helpful: I definitely like that the Supa Fly sheet blocks up to 70% of UV rays. Definitely a plus considering Roo’s dark bay coat is prone to bleaching out in the sun. And I appreciate the handy quick clip closure coupled with velcro on the front.

The Insect Shield Technology of the Supa Fly sheet helps to provide Roo with effective and long lasting personal protection from mosquitoes, ticks, flies and fleas. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The Insect Shield Technology of the Supa Fly sheet helps to provide Roo with effective and long lasting personal protection from mosquitoes, ticks, flies and fleas. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

Some other features not to be overlooked are the traditional shoulder gussets, to help provide freedom of movement. And let’s not forget the full wrap tail flap or removable web leg straps in the hind either, both which help support the sheet’s fit and function.

Now, most importantly, how has Rufus fared in his new Supa Fly sheet this season? From the time that the sheet came out of it’s packaging and was fitted on Roo, I felt really happy with the way that it fit and draped over his stocky frame.

The Supa Fly sheet looks very nice, with just the right combination of the white sheet with navy and blue accenting. The quick clip buckles are super easy to fasten, which saves me precious extra minutes when I’m outfitting Roo before heading to the office.

I also find that I really like the fit of the belly band. The elastic built into the straps gives it a nice snug fit against Roo’s belly, without being too snug. Which means that there is no space for flies to sneak in and bite his sensitive tummy!

The time that it takes me to fasten the web leg straps and velcro the neck cover is minimal. Just that quickly, Roo is off to enjoy his day out in the sun while being shielded from irritating biting insects.

And what does Roo look like when I return home at the end of the day? I’m happy to report that the Supa Fly sheet has stayed in place nicely on Roo, without that awkward slipping or sliding down one side of his bum. Which is totally not cute.

And at the end of the day...I'm greeted by a happy Roo, who is cool, comfortable and protected from biting insects and harmful UV rays! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

And at the end of the day…I’m greeted by a happy Roo, who is cool, comfortable and protected from biting insects and harmful UV rays! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

More importantly, I find that my Roo feels cool and dry when I check under his Supa Fly sheet. Because the lightweight mesh helps to keep him from overheating. And I’m happy that his lovely dark bay coat had all day protection from UV rays.

Finally, I am so happy to see that I see less flies around him. With a traditional fly sheet and mask, I’ve had to brush large numbers of flies off of Roo’s nose and neck. However, the Insect Shield Technology really appears to help deter biting insects. Supa awesomeness!

The Supa Fly Insect Shield Detach A Neck Fly Sheet is available from Weatherbeeta in sizes 60″ through 84″. It has a retail price of $149.99, and you can find out more about it here.

Go Beating those Biting Bugs. Go Weatherbeeta. Go Eventing.

 

Product Review: Ariat Heat Series Sunstopper Riding Tops

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

? The Sunstopper tops are designed using Sun Protection Fabric technology, which helps to provide protection from harmful UV rays. And that protection is definitely welcome from my perspective. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. ? The Sunstopper tops are designed using Sun Protection Fabric technology, which helps to provide protection from harmful UV rays. And that protection is definitely welcome from my perspective. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

If I could, I would practically live outdoors all summer long. As it is I spend as much time as humanly possible soaking up the sun … wherever. And whenever. Sure, I spend plenty of time laying out on the beach, or parking myself by the nearest pool.

But I also find that the summer season means that I’m logging a lot of hours in the saddle. The long days mean that I have plenty of time to spend my evenings riding after I arrive home from a day at the office. Which I why I find myself riding pretty much every day!

The way the daylight stretches into the evenings certainly helps me to spend more time in the saddle. However, summer does create some riding centric challenges for both the horse and rider, beyond the major annoyance of biting horseflies around the barn.

While I do enjoy warm weather, some days are downright sticky, which leave me feeling pretty icky after a ride. Staying cool and comfortable help me to perform at my best. Which is why it is of utmost important to select seasonally appropriate performance apparel.

I’m also a fair skinned type of gal, which means that I generally find myself getting burned, rather than tan, from the sun. And it’s not just the sunburn that is uncomfortable. Awkward tan lines from sleeveless or short sleeve shirts are really not very attractive!

In recent years, I’ve taken to wearing long sleeve performance tops for much of my summer riding. Before I tried wearing my first ‘sun shirt,’ I thought the concept of long sleeves was a bit far fetched. Long sleeves? In 80 or 90 degree weather? I pretty much laughed.

Both the 1/4 Zip and Polo tops feature breathable mesh sections as well, in order to promote air circulation. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Both the 1/4 Zip and Polo tops feature breathable mesh sections as well, in order to promote air circulation. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

But surprisingly enough, the right combination of fashion and technology does the trick. Lightweight fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin and are fast drying perform very well, especially when they have ventilation technology working on their side.

This season, I’ve been riding in the Sunstopper 1/4 Zip and Polo tops from Ariat’s Heat Series. The AriatTEK Heat Series is a collection of performance apparel that was designed to keep riders cool whlie spending time in the saddle in warm temperatures.

So what’s in a name? The Sunstopper tops are designed using Sun Protection Fabric technology, which helps to provide protection from harmful UV rays. And that protection is definitely welcome from my perspective.

The Sunstopper tops feature a lightweight pique knit fabric. The fabric also boasts Ariat Moisture Movement Technology, which helps it to pull moisture away from the skin quickly. Plus, it also evaporates quickly, which helps keep the rider dry and comfortable.

Both the 1/4 Zip and Polo tops feature breathable mesh sections as well, in order to promote air circulation. The design of the 1/4 Zip includes the mesh underarm as well as additional paneling. The Polo includes the mesh under the arms only.

The other major difference between the two is the obvious styling detail. The 1/4 Zip features a mock collar, with a 1/4 zip front. On especially warm days, I like to leave the front mostly unzipped to allow additional airflow. The 1/4 Zip also includes a stock tie loop.

One of my favorite things is just how quickly the ultra light fabric dries. With the Sunstopper tops, the fabric dries quickly, and which helps me to feel comfortable. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

One of my favorite things is just how quickly the ultra light fabric dries. With the Sunstopper tops, the fabric dries quickly, and which helps me to feel comfortable. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

For a bit of a different look, the Sunstopper Polo offers an alternative styling. The front features six snap buttons up the front, which can easily fastened / unfastened in order to get just the right look. The polo collar also offers a crisp and clean appearance.

While logging time in the saddle wearing both Sunstopper tops, I stay both cool and comfortable. Both the 1/4 Zip and Polo styles do a great job at pulling away moisture from my skin when I’m sweaty and gross from riding in 80 or 90 degree weather.

The combination of the ultra light fabric and the additional ventilation from the mesh helps me to feel cooler. Plus, I can also adjust the zipper or snap buttons to allow for some additional airflow. And, this allows me to styling the top just the way that I want it.

One of my favorite things is just how quickly the ultra light fabric dries. I hate feeling slightly soggy after I end up sweating buckets during a ride, and my top usually ends up soaked. With the Sunstopper tops, the fabric dries quickly, and which helps me to feel comfortable.

Both the Sunstopper 1/4 Zip and Polo tops are availble from Ariat. Both styles retail for $49.95 for solid colors, and $54.95 for prints. You can find the 1/4 Zip top here, and you can find the Polo top here.

Go Stylishly Cool Summer Apparel. Go Ariat. Go Eventing.

 

Product Review: Troxel ES Helmet

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

The self-locking buckle on the Troxel ES Helmet features an advanced magnetic fastener, which allows it to close in a virtually automatic way. Just one click, without any pinching, and the durable buckle is fastened. And what's even better? I can use one hand to unfasten it! Photo by Lorraine Peachey. The self-locking buckle on the Troxel ES Helmet features an advanced magnetic fastener, which allows it to close in a virtually automatic way. Just one click, without any pinching, and the durable buckle is fastened. And what's even better? I can use one hand to unfasten it! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Something that I take very seriously is safety. I tend to be risk adverse person in most areas of my life. However, I know that each and every time that I choose to climb on up into the saddle, that there is an inherent risk that accompanies me.

Safety is no joke … which is why I always, always, ALWAYS wear a helmet. No matter what horse I’m riding. Or how short of a ride I’m planning. I absolutely will not put my boots in the irons without having an ASTM approved, properly fitting helmet strapped to my noggin.

In all of my years riding, I’ve never heard a good reason to go out sans helmet. I don’t care how hot my head gets. Or if I look like a ‘mushroom head’. Or even if I end up rocking total helmet hair. Protecting my head is way more important.

And above all else, the number one reason that I wear a helmet is for everyone in my life who cares about me. While jumping on the back of a horse does come with risk, I wear helmet to keep myself safe for my friends and family.

One of the helmets that I’ve been riding in recently has been exceedingly lovely. Not only does it look sleek and sophisticated enough for the show ring…it also provides a nice fit, and keeps my head from overheating. I’m talking about the Troxel ES helmet.

I'm happy with the way the SureFit Elite System cradles my head. No matter how much I bounce around, or how active I am in the saddle, my helmet stays put. No sliding, or slipping. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I’m happy with the way the SureFit Elite System cradles my head. No matter how much I bounce around, or how active I am in the saddle, my helmet stays put. No sliding, or slipping. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

My very first riding helmet was a Troxel. And to this day, I have many memories and pictures of myself riding in that navy blue helmet. It was not the most sleek or stylish helmet, but I was oh so very proud to wear it, just the same.

The Troxel ES is vastly different to the helmet of my youth … words like sleek and stylish immediately sprung into my mind the first time that I saw the helmet. And when I tried it on for the first time, it fit great and looking simply fabulous.

About the fit … the Troxel ES helmet features the SureFit Elite fit system, along with Flip Fold fit adjustment technology. The SureFit Elite system features a Comfort Cradle, that uses elastic straps that self adjust to accommodate the size and shape of a riders head.

The SureFit Elite system features an adjustable slider to tighten or loosen the EverFlex straps that adjust to the riders head. In addition, the Flip Fold System provides an adjustable liner that can easily be made thicker or thinner to accommodate various head shapes.

Along with some terrific fit technology, the ES helmet also boasts features to enhance comfort. Air channel technology, along with mesh covered cluster vents help to promote air flow. And, an open cell foam moisture wicking headliner helps to pull away sweat.

that can easily be made thicker or thinner to accomodate various head shapes. Along with some terrific fit technology, the ES helmet also boasts features to enhance comfort. Air channel technology, along with mesh covered cluster vents help to promote air flow. And, an open cell foam moisture wicking headliner helps to pull away sweat. Photo by Lorraine Peachey,

Along with some terrific fit technology, the ES helmet also boasts features to enhance comfort. Air channel technology, along with mesh covered cluster vents help to promote air flow. And, an open cell foam moisture wicking headliner helps to pull away sweat. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

But I haven’t even touched upon one of my very favorite features of the Troxel ES helmet … and that is the Self Locking Buckle. So what exactly is the Self Locking Buckle? And more importantly, why is functional and really pretty awesome at the same time?

The Self Locking Buckle features an advanced magnetic fastener, which allows it to close in a virtually automatic way. Just one click, without any pinching, and the durable buckle is fastened. And what’s even better? I can use one hand to unfasten it!

I’ve been very happy to have the opportunity to spend so much time riding in the ES helmet. The helmet does indeed look fabulous, as evidenced by the many compliments that I get while wearing it. The fit also works very well, and the helmet stays in place just so.

No matter how much I bounce around, or how active I am in the saddle, my helmet stays put. No sliding, or slipping. I’m happy with the way the SureFit Elite System cradles my head. And, I made use of the super easy Flip Fold system to get just the right fit.

I also find that the air channel technology, paired with the mesh covered cluster vents do a nice job keeping me from overheating. Plus, the open cell foam moisture wicking headliner helps to wick away sweat to keep me comfortable.

And let’s not forget the Self Locking Buckle. I can easily fasten and unfasten the buckle with a single gloved hand. Let’s add the fact that it opens and closes without pinching me, and I’m pretty much smitten with this particular buckle!

But I saved the best part for last. While I’ve been very happy with the overall appearance and functionality of the ASTM/SEI certified ES helmet, I’m completly shocked when I look at the very affordable and budget friendly price tag.

The Troxel ES helmet is available in sizes S through XL, in both black/black and black/silver (pictured). It has a retail price of $109.95, and you can learn more about it here.

Go Functional and Stylish Helmets. Go Troxel. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Kerrits Ice Fil Tech Tights

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

I love how comfortable the Tech Tights are to ride in. The four way stretch of the Ice Fil fabric, combined with it's cooling technology work perfectly on warm days. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

I love how comfortable the Tech Tights are to ride in. The four way stretch of the Ice Fil fabric, combined with it’s cooling technology work perfectly on warm days. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

It’s definitely reached that point in the year when I’ve switched my wardrobe over from jeans to shorts. Alas, while I am a jeans girl at heart, wearing them in the sweltering 80, sometimes 90 degree days is just a little too much for even me.

My commitment is to staying cool while I’m out in the heat. And this can be a bit of a challenge when I’m out riding. But riding without overheating can be accomplished by properly planning and outfitting myself appropriately for the weather.

While I’ve packed away all of my cold weather riding apparel — breeches, base layers and outerwear — I’ve pulled out my fun warm weather wardrobe. I always flip over the combination of all of the fun colors & patterns, along with the cool fabrics.

Technical fabrics completely amaze me …truly! A good technical fabric can make all of the difference when trying to stay comfortable in extreme weather conditions. During the warm summer months, lightweight, fast drying fabrics with wicking properties are essential.

The large side pocket is generously sized, and easily accomodates my large smartphone in it's Otterbox. Not only does my phone fit, it is held securely in place while I ride. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The large side pocket is generously sized, and easily accommodates my large smartphone in it’s Otterbox. Not only does my phone fit, it is held securely in place while I ride. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

No one wants to wear overly warm breeches in the summer weather. Well at least I don’t, anyway! One of the pairs of tights that I’ve been wearing during this warm & sunny season have been the Ice Fil Tech Tight from Kerrits.

Ever since I heard the name, I was hooked. Reason being is that I’ve worn a number of different Ice Fil tops during my warm weather riding adventures in the past. Through those experiences, I’ve noticed a serious difference in how cool I feel.

Wearing a pair of Ice Fil Tights, however, was a totally new experience for me. Of course I was excited, because of my positive experiences with Ice Fil fabric in the past. Which means that the bar for how the Ice Fil Tights would perform was set pretty high in my mind.

Before I dive into the tights, allow me a brief tutorial on Ice Fil fabric. What’s the big deal anyway? Ice Fil fabric is super lightweight & breathable, AND the technology helps to convert sweat to a refrigerant…which helps to lower skin’s temperature up to 5 degrees.

Ice Fil fabric is super lightweight & breathable, AND the technology helps to convert sweat to a refrigerant...which helps to lower skin's temperature up to 5 degrees. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Ice Fil fabric is super lightweight & breathable, AND the technology helps to convert sweat to a refrigerant…which helps to lower skin’s temperature up to 5 degrees. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Pretty cool, right? And I mean that literally. So what are some of the other features of the Kerrits Ice Fil Tech Tights that I like? One of the first things that I noticed when trying the tights on for the first time was how light and stretchy the fabric is.

While the fabric is super lightweight, it also offers a four way stretch…which made them so comfortable that I literally lounged out in them on my couch for a few hours. The flow rise waistband offered me a comfortable and amount of coverage that I felt good about.

I also noticed the Kerrit Sticks on the tights, which are literally shaped like carrots! Along with being completely adorable, the silicone Kerrits Sticks offer anti slip technology. The unique distribution of the Sticks offers an equal ration of stretch, stick and breathability.

The ‘tech’ part of the Tech Tights that I’m a particularly big fan of is the large side pocket. This particular pocket is generously sized, and easily accommodates my large smartphone in it’s Otterbox. Not only does my phone fit, it is held securely in place while I ride.

Along with being completely adorable, the silicone Kerrits Sticks offer anti slip technology. The unique distribution of the Sticks offers an equal ration of stretch, stick and breathability. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Along with being completely adorable, the silicone Kerrits Sticks offer anti slip technology. The unique distribution of the Sticks offers an equal ration of stretch, stick and breathability. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I’m also glad that the Ice Fil Tech Tights offer UPF 50+ protection from the sun. The tights are also made in the USA, which I am a big advocate of … and last but certainly not least, they are machine washable and dryable (tumble dry no heat).

What was my experience riding in the Ice Fil Tights like? I think cool is the watchword. Even when faced with warm weather, the ultra lightweight Ice Fil fabric helped to wick sweat, dry quickly and make me feel cooler. Period.

I love how comfortable the Tech Tights are to ride in. The four way stretch of the Ice Fil fabric, combined with cooling technology work perfectly on warm days. And the Kerrit Sticks? They help provide me with a good grip, without the restriction of a traditional full seat.

The Kerrits Ice Fil Tech Tight is available in 5 different colors, including Tan, Huckleberry, River, Black and Shale (pictured). The tights can be found in sizes ranging from XS to XL, and have a retail price of $89.00. You can find out more about them here.

Go Comfortably Cool Tights. Go Kerrits. Go Eventing.

 

Fab Freebie: Stay Cool in Kerrits Ice Fil Tech Tights

This week, one lucky reader will snag themselves a pair of Kerrits Ice Fil Tech Tights. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. This week, one lucky reader will snag themselves a pair of Kerrits Ice Fil Tech Tights. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Isn’t it the greatest feeling ever to head out for a ride on a bright and sunny day? Many of my rides in recent days end with both me and my horse sweaty and exhausted. Even when I’m dripping with sweat, I usually always feel accomplished and very happy.

Making sure my riding attire is warm weather friendly is important. Recently, I’ve been riding in a pair of Ice Fil Tech Tights from Kerrits (you can check out my review here). And for this week’s Fab Freebie on EN, one of our lucky readers will be able to score a pair of their own!

Why are these tights warm weather friendly? The Ice Fil fabric technology of the Tech Tights help to convert sweat to refrigerant, lowering the skin’s temperature up to five degrees. Which means that on warm days, they can help to keep skin just a little cooler.

The Ice Fil Tights also feature anti slip Kerrit Sticks for added grip. The Kerrit Sticks are actually a unique (and super cute) pattern of silicon carrots that provides an equal ratio of stretch, stick and breathability.

The large side pocket is generously sized, and easily accomodates my large smartphone in it's Otterbox. Not only does my phone fit, it is held securely in place while I ride. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The large side pocket is generously sized, and easily accommodates my large smartphone in it’s Otterbox. Not only does my phone fit, it is held securely in place while I ride. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

Another noteworthy feature of the Ice Fil Tech Tights is the large side pocket, which is perfect for storing my large smartphone in while I ride. The super lightweight fabric offers a four way stretch, along with UPF 50+ sun protection.

The Ice Fil Tech Tights are machine washable in cold water, and take a tumble dry no heat. They retail for $89.00 and are available in 5 different colors, including Tan, Huckleberry, River, Black and Shale (pictured). You can learn more about these made in the USA tights here.

A special thanks goes out to Kerrits for providing this week’s prize! So you know the drill. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and then check back in our Friday News & Notes, where we will announce our lucky winner. Good luck!

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Product Review: Bogs Urban Farmer Boot

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

the boots are 100% waterproof...which means no worries when I step in puddles around the paddock or am bathing my ponies. Photo by Lorraine Peachey the boots are 100% waterproof...which means no worries when I step in puddles around the paddock or am bathing my ponies. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

I’m all about comfort and utility, especially around the barn. Since I manage my own small barn, I spend a lot of time riding… and even more time not riding. There seems to be a never ending list of chores that require my attention.

Day to day life around the barn includes a lot of routine tasks. There are stalls to muck, grain and hay to feed, and water buckets to fill. And when I’m all done my chores, I’m generally off to ride, or at least lunge my ponies.

Moral of the story: There is always something to do around the barn. I’m on the move a lot, so my feet take a pretty heavy burden. Which means that I need to wear footwear that is comfortable enough to hold up to everyday barn life.

This time of the year, whenever I’m not in breeches or tights, I’m in shorts. Because it’s just too darn hot out. So when I’ve been busy with my chores, or just lunging my pony I’ve been donning a pair of Bogs Urban Farmer boots.

The Urban Farmer is a lightweight waterproof boot, which has proven itself to me around the barn. So what do I like about this particular boots? Firstly, I like they the top rim of the boots comes to just above ankle height on me.

The Urban Farmer boots help to support my feet, while keeping them dry...and it's terrific that the boots don't even smell after all of the hard work they've seen. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Urban Farmer boots help to support my feet while keeping them dry, and it’s terrific that the boots don’t even smell after all of the hard work they’ve seen. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

This time of the year, wearing a tall pair of muck boots can make my legs sweaty. Not only are the Urban Farmer boots a nice height, they are also lined with EverDry and Bogs Max Wick … which means that they help to absorb and evaporate sweat!

I also like that the Urban Farmer boots are made of a durable hand lasted rubber, with a seamless construction. Because of this, the boots are 100% waterproof, which means no worries when I step in puddles around the paddock or bathing my ponies.

And because I certainly don’t like smelly or stinky boots, I’m also glad for bio technology that the Urban Farmer boots feature. They boast Dura Fresh bio technology, which activates to help eliminate unwanted odors of hard working feet.

Looking to the interior, the Urban Farmer is also designed with comfort in mind. A dual density contoured EVA insole helps to enhance comfort, while an internal wide steel shank helps promote durability.

I also find that I simply adore the appearance of the Urban Farmer boot. The low height, combined with the lace up fronts are simply adorable. The laces also allow me to tighten or loosen the ankle, so I can adjust to find the perfect fit!

Not only are the Urban Farmer boots a nice height, they are also lined with EverDry and Bogs Max Wick...which means that they help to absorb and evaporate sweat! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Not only are the Urban Farmer boots a nice height, they are also lined with EverDry and Bogs Max Wick…which means that they help to absorb and evaporate sweat! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

So what has life around the barn been like for me while wearing the Urban Farmer boots? I really enjoy how easy the boots are to pull on and take off, thanks to their low height. And again, I’m a definitely a fan of the laces to help me adjust the fit of the ankles.

I’ve worn the Urban Farmer boots in my fair share of wet conditions, and they always keep my feet 100% dry. Not only that, but on really hot days, I appreciate the moisture wicking properties of the boot help keep my feet dry and comfortable.

The outsoles of the Urban Farmer boot also help to give me a nice amount of traction. So when I’m working around the barn, or out lunging my pony out in the paddock, I’ve always felt like I had good foot traction.

And as much as I’m on my feet around the barn, I’m very happy with how comfortable the Urban Farmer boots have been. They help support my feet while keeping them dry, and it’s terrific that the boots don’t even smell after all of the hard work they’ve seen.

The Urban Farmer boots are available from Bogs, and they retail for $95. They are available in either Red (pictured) or Black, and you can learn more about them here.

Go Comfortable Barn Boots (That Work Hard Too). Go Bogs. Go Eventing.

 

Product Review: ProChaps Athletic Full Chaps

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

The Athletic Chaps fit smoothly over my breeches and paddock boots. The design includes articulation around the knees, which allows for full flexion...without any need for break in. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. The Athletic Chaps fit smoothly over my breeches and paddock boots. The design includes articulation around the knees, which allows for full flexion...without any need for break in. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

When I’m spending time in the saddle, something that I’m very mindful of are my seat and legs. Having a secure seat and a good grip with my legs is paramount, especially when I’m riding my green gelding Roo. Because let’s face it … spooks and unexpected antics happen!

In recent years, I’ve ridden in many different pairs of breeches. And I mean a lot — different brands, fabrics and grip technologies. There are too many options out there for me to even try to count. With so many terrific options, it can be hard to choose a favorite pair.

Decisions don’t just stop with selecting a pair of breeches. I also typically pull on either a pair of tall boots, or a pair of paddock boots with half chaps. Because a grippy pair of breeches works even better for me when properly paired with a good pair of boots or chaps.

While spending time at the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) show early this year, I was quite interested to learn about ProChaps. I wasn’t super familiar with the brand or products, so I was happy to educate myself on their chaps and the technology behind them.

Since hearing some super positive feedback from others about the ProChaps Athletic Full Chaps, I was particularly interested to learn more about them. During my time spent in the ProChaps booth, I even got fitted for a pair.

Determining what size Athletic Full Chaps you wear is surprisingly easy. All it takes is three simple measurements. Start by measuring the circumference of your calf. Then, the circumference of your thigh. And finally, the length of your inseam. It’s really that easy!

I'll stop before delving too deep into the technical details working behind the scenes. But I will say that that the Athletic Chaps are made to be lightweight, while helping to aid performance and being durable enough to remain in tip top shape.  Photo by Lorraine Peachey

I’ll stop before delving too deep into the technical details working behind the scenes. But I will say that that the Athletic Chaps are made to be lightweight, while helping to aid performance and being durable enough to remain in tip top shape.
Photo by Lorraine Peachey

And once you have your three measurements, all you have to do is enter your measurements into the handy prompt on the ProChaps website to obtain your correct size. After being sized and fitted with a pair of Athletic Full Chaps at AETA, I simply did not want to take them off.

A preference of mine is to ride in breeches that have compression properties, as I find that it helps to reduce muscle fatigue while I ride. And when I tried the Athletic Full Chaps? I was really excited to feel the compression that they offered.

I was basically so excited to try the Athletic Full Chaps that I wanted to go jump on my pony and start riding. Like right then and there. Alas, I did not, but I’ve had plenty of time since the trade show to spend a lot of time in the saddle and around the barn in a pair of the chaps.

So let’s take a closer look at what I like most about the Athletic Full Chaps, and why they have been working so well for me. I’ve never worn a pair of full chaps before, so riding in the Athletic Chaps was a totally new experience for me.

Pulling on the Athletic Full Chaps is simple. After pulling the waistband on and buckling it, I step into the support straps at the bottom of the legs. Wrapping each leg around, I started the zipper at the top of the leg and zipped it down to the bottom. Totally easy!

The ergonomic design of the Athletic Full Chaps help them fit comfortably. The wide waistband provides padding and support for the back and hips, with a nice stretchy elastic between. The metal snap is sturdy, and includes straps to adjust the fit of the waistband.

The wide waistband of the ProChaps provides padding and support for the back and hips, with a nice stretchy elastic between. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The wide waistband of the ProChaps provides padding and support for the back and hips, with a nice stretchy elastic between. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Athletic Chaps fit smoothly over my breeches and paddock boots. The design includes articulation around the knees, which allows for full flexion, without any need for break in. The zippers are very heavy duty, and I like that the zipper tab ‘locks’ into position, and does not flop around.

Looking to the fabric … ProChaps are constructed using three materials that bring together technical fabrics. And to help aid performance, the chaps use a combination of lightweight knit fabric, perforated neoprene, and impregnated waterproof leather with Cambrelle lining.

I’ll stop before delving too deep into the technical details working behind the scenes (you can learn about them here). But I will say that that the Athletic Chaps are made to be lightweight, while helping to aid performance and being durable enough to remain in tip top shape.

Wearing the Athletic Full Chaps has been a really terrific experience for me. They make me feel really good once I pull them on. I’ve take to pairing them with a pair of breeches with compression, such as my pair of FITS Jordan Unisex breeches (check out my review here).

The combination of the compression that I get from the breeches with the Athletic Full Chaps helps to give my legs additional support. So while I’m schooling on the flat, and have worked to get my jumping legs back, they have helped reduce muscle fatigue.

So what are some of my favorite features of the Athletic Full Chaps? Of course I’m a big fan of the compression properties, but I also like how lightweight and comfortable the fabric is, because I feel great about wearing the chaps even on very warm days.

Determining what size Athletic Full Chaps you wear is suprisingly easy. All it takes is three simply measurements. Start by measuring the circumference of your calf. Then, the circumference of your thigh. And finally, the length of your inseam. It's really that easy! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Determining what size Athletic Full Chaps you wear is suprisingly easy. All it takes is three simply measurements. Start by measuring the circumference of your calf. Then, the circumference of your thigh. And finally, the length of your inseam. It’s really that easy! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

And the waterproof leather grips wonderfully, which after all is the main function of a pair of chaps! I feel like I have a secure grip with my legs while in the saddle. I even find that I prefer the amount of grip that I get with the Athletic Full Chaps over what I get with tall boots or half chaps.

The Athletic Full Chaps are also comfortable and durable enough to wear around the barn. They fit like a second skin, and feel terrific enough to leave on after a ride. So I can go lunge another of my ponies, go muck stalls, throw hay, or handle whatever else comes my way.

And I feel OK about wearing the Athletic Full Chaps around the barn, because of the technology behind the design. Waterproof leather to stand up to wet conditions? Check. Support straps to withstand deterioration from urine? Check. Neoprene with anti bacterial membrane? Another check!

After all of the wear that my pair of Athletic Full Chaps have gone through, they still look terrific. They were made to be durable, and I have found that they have held up beautifully to barn life. And better still, they have retained their shape all the while.

The Athletic Full Chaps are available from ProChaps in either black or brown. They retail for $274.95 a pair and you can find them here. You can also learn more about how to measure yourself for a pair of Athletic Full Chaps when you visit the link to learn more about them.

Go grippy chaps (that look and feel great!). Go ProChaps. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Perri’s Beta and Cotton Safety Halter

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

One of the most important features of the Beta and Cotton Safety Halter for me personally, is a safety feature. There is an easily replaceable breakaway tab located under the adjustable end of the crownpiece, which helps to make the halter safe and convenient! Photo by Lorraine Peachey One of the most important features of the Beta and Cotton Safety Halter for me personally, is a safety feature. There is an easily replaceable breakaway tab located under the adjustable end of the crownpiece, which helps to make the halter safe and convenient! Photo by Lorraine Peachey

There are some items around the barn that I feel like I’ve started to take for for granted. Even though I might pick up something to use each and every day, I sometimes forget to pause to give it the credit it is really due.

Take halters for example — without them even simple tasks like bringing my horse in from the pasture, grooming him or holding him for the farrier would be tough. And while a halter might be pretty simple, there are several characteristics that every one should have.

Any halter that I use on my horses should be in good working order. After all, safety is my number one priority!

In addition, every halter should fit well on the horse it is worn on. Each of my horses have their own halters, which have been adjusted to fit them. But the crownpieces also adjust in case I need to swap around halters to share between them.

And I’m always someone who also wants items to be visually appealing. While appearance is not as important as fit and function, I do want to see a halter that looks nice on my horses. It doesn’t need to be flashy, but should add to their appearance rather than detract from it.

Recently, I’ve been using the Beta and Cotton Safety Halter on my gelding Rufus. This particular halter seemed like it would be a good fit for him, particularly after he broke his traditional leather halter. And it was even his special one with his nameplate!

A few months ago, Roo spooked when I was grooming him and started to pull back. He got even more freaked out when he felt additional pressure from his halter on his head, and he kept pulling until it the cheekpieces snapped off of the crownpiece.

The Cotton and Beta Safety Halter fits his face nicely, and it was very easy to adjust the crownpiece to get him just the right fit. And it has also been durable in holding up to wear around the barn. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The Beta and Cotton Safety Halter fits his face nicely, and it was very easy to adjust the crownpiece to get him just the right fit. And it has also been durable in holding up to wear around the barn. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

I was very happy to start using the Beta and Cotton Safety Halter on Rufus after “the halter incident.” The halter is crafted out of a heavy cotton webbing, which has been combined with durable beta around the sturdy brass hardware.

While I’ve been a traditionalist when it comes to halters, I found that I really enjoy using a cotton halter. A traditional leather halter requires more care and cleaning than a cotton halter. I simply wipe down the beta sections with a sponge or towel to keep them clean.

The Beta and Cotton Safety Halter is also easy to adjust to get a fit that is “just right.” The crownpiece is adjustable on one side, with a beta section that has holes in it. I’ve found that it is very easy to adjust, and the end tucks nicely into a buckle.

I like how the cotton parts of the halter feel nice against the skin, yet very durable at the same time. It is also a good thing that the cotton is available in dark colors — black, hunter green and navy — which means that they don’t show much in the way of barn dirt!

However, one of the most important features of the Beta and Cotton Safety Halter for me personally, is a safety feature. There is an easily replaceable breakaway tab located under the adjustable end of the crownpiece, which helps to make the halter safe and convenient.

I’ve found the Beta and Cotton Safety Halter to work really nicely for Rufus. The brass tone hardware helps to give the Beta and Cotton halter a nice appearance, and it also feels durable during use. The under the chin strap is easy to snap on and off of the ring on the side of the halter, and it functions wonderfully.

Overall, I’ve been very happy with the fit, function and appearance of the Beta and Cotton Safety Halter. The halter definitely adds a little something to Roo’s appearance, and I’m happy to have the peace of mind of knowing that the breakaway tab is there … even though I haven’t seen in action (yet!)

The Beta and Cotton Safety Halter is available from Perri’s Leather. It is available in Cob, Horse and Oversize, in a number of colors, for either a fun or conservative look. Each halter has a retail price of $59.95, and you can find it here.

Go safe and eye catching halters. Go Perri’s. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Elation Full Seat Breeches

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

The Denim Soho Full Seat Breeches are constructed out of a dark wash 4 way stretch denim. From the first time that I pulled them on, I really appreciated the amount of stretch built into the fabric. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. The Denim Soho Full Seat Breeches are constructed out of a dark wash 4 way stretch denim. From the first time that I pulled them on, I really appreciated the amount of stretch built into the fabric. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

There I was, walking around the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) show. The time? Around 5 p.m., which means the trade show was coming to a close for the day. My feet were dog tired, and my brain was pretty much fried.

After an exciting day spent walking around and learning about new products, I was about ready to drop. Until, that is, I walked as a booth with an eye catching display of breeches. And let’s not forget the witty t shirts that said ‘Ask Me About My Breeches’!

Of course, the decision was made for me. As someone who has my own collection of t-shirts with whimsical sayings on them, I had to stop and learn more about Elation breeches. Even though I’m pretty well versed in breeches, Elation was a brand I was not familiar with.

I spent some time picking up and looking at the different pairs of breeches on display. I was happy to notice that the Elation breeches were both pleasing to the eye and felt to be of nice quality. I was also really surprised at the affordable price points!

So I’ve been riding in two pairs of Elation breeches; the Platinum Hudson Full Seat Breeches and the Denim Soho Full Seat Breeches. I started out wearing the Soho Breeches, because I’m a jeans girls at heart, and I love, love, LOVE a good pair of denim breeches.

The tan and white colored stitching of the Soho Breeches contrasts nicely against the dark colored denim, making features like the front and back pockets, belt loops and full seat simply pop. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The tan and white colored stitching of the Soho Breeches contrasts nicely against the dark colored denim, making features like the front and back pockets, belt loops and full seat simply pop. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Denim Soho Full Seat Breeches are constructed out of a dark wash four-way stretch denim. From the first time that I pulled them on, I really appreciated the amount of stretch built into the fabric, which helped them to hug my waistline and provide a comfortable fit.

The Soho Breeches feature a premium RIMA leather full seat, which helps to provide a nice amount of grip while in the saddle. The Demi Cut Sport Stretch ankle (similar to an integrated sock) also helps to provide a smooth and snug fit at the bottom of the leg.

I’m someone who gets into the details, so I appreciate the two tone contrast stitching of the Soho Breeches. The tan and white colored stitching contrasts nicely against the dark colored denim, making features like the front and back pockets, belt loops and full seat simply pop.

The Platinum Hudson Full Seat Breeches have also been a dependable pair of breeches. The Hudson breeches offer fashion forward styling, combined with European cut. The lighter weight technical fabric also boasts 4 way stretch, which aids in comfort and function.

The slightly wider waistband also allows for a nice amount of stretch, and it hugs my waistline nicely to prevent any gaps. I like the front closure, which features a zipper and a two button Gutos closure (which is a type of hook and loop button).

The Hudson breeches offer fashion forward styling, combined with European cut. The lighter weight technical fabric also boasts 4 way stretch, which aids in comfort and function. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Hudson breeches offer fashion forward styling, combined with European cut. The lighter weight technical fabric also boasts 4 way stretch, which aids in comfort and function. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Once again, the extra little styling details help to give Hudson breeches a really lovely appearance. The aqua blue stitching contrasts nicely against the black breeches, to give an understated pop of color. I also like the matching aqua blue piping along the waistline.

The premium RIMA leather full seat has black stitching, which helps it blend in nicely. And let’s not forget to mention that the Hudson breeches also include a Demi Cut Sport Stretch ankle to help provide a close and clean looking fit around the ankle.

Both the Denim Soho and the Platinum Hudson breeches provide a lovely fit, even for someone like me, who has a curvy body type. I was really happy to look in the mirror and find both pairs to look flattering, and feel comfortable during wear.

So what are my favorite features across both pairs of Elation breeches that I’ve been riding in? Well, I am definitely a fan of the 4 way stretch properties that the fabric of both breeches contain. The four-way stretch helps them to fit well, and causes the fabric to hold it’s shape.

The aqua blue stitching contrasts nicely against the black breeches, to give an understated pop of color. I also like the matching aqua blue piping along the waistline. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The aqua blue stitching contrasts nicely against the black breeches, to give an understated pop of color. I also like the matching aqua blue piping along the waistline. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I also appreciate the Demi Cut Sport Stretch ankle, which helps the bottom of the leg to have a close and comfortable fit under my tall boots. The breeches themselves are comfortable to ride in, and the fabric feels nice and smooth against my skin.

My inner fashionista is quite happy in Elation breeches as well. The details really help them stand out as a fashion forward breeches option. I’m a big fan of the contrast stitching of the Denim Soho breeches, and the aqua stitching and piping of the Hudson.

Elation breeches are available from Equestrian Brands International. The Denim Soho Full Seat Breeches retail for $129.99, and you can find them here. The Platinum Hudson Full Seat Breeches have a retail price of $149.99, and you can learn more about them here.

Go Functional & Fashion Forward Breeches. Go Elation. Go Eventing.

Product Review: EcoGold Secure XC Saddle Pad

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

The EcoGold Secure XC Saddle Pad is an ultra thin, non slip pad that is crafted out of high tech breathable materials, while providing impact protection. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. The EcoGold Secure XC Saddle Pad is an ultra thin, non slip pad that is crafted out of high tech breathable materials, while providing impact protection. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I think it’s fair to say that most people tend to have some kind of collection. If you were to open my closet, you’d find out that my wardrobe includes quite the collection of boots and handbags. And that’s ok…I’m just a boots and handbags kind of girl.

But if you’d visit my tack room, you would find something all together different. My biggest vice when it comes to all things tack related would be quite obvious. So, yes. I’ll come right out and admit it…I am ever so slightly addicted to saddle pads.

As a self proclaimed ‘queen of all things matchy matchy’, of course I have saddle pads in various colors. Because I not only like lots of color choices, I also like to be able to coordinate my saddle pad with whatever my riding attire happens to be for the day.

While saddle pad colors are a big deal to a true aficionado like myself, function is also important. There are so many other features and options one can consider when saddle pad shopping. And let’s face it…all of those options can become a bit overwhelming!

It is fairly likely that I’ll grab a different saddle pad each day as I gather up my tack to go for a ride. Depending on what type of riding I’m planning on for the day, the tack that I’ll be using, and the needs of my horse…well, let’s just say that not all pads are created equally.

There is a pad that I’ve been riding for over a year with, that has earned a pretty regular spot in my rotation. It’s an ultra thin, non slip pad that is crafted out of high tech breathable materials, while providing impact protection. What pad am I referring to exactly?

I find the Secure XC Pad to lay quite nicely on my horse's back...and I'm even happier to see how pleasing to the eye it looks underneath my saddle. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I find the Secure XC Pad to lay quite nicely on my horse’s back…and I’m even happier to see how pleasing to the eye it looks underneath my saddle. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I’m talking about the EcoGold Secure XC Saddle Pad. So why do I find myself using the Secure XC Saddle Pad so often? For starters, I love how ultra thin the pad is. The seat area of the pad boasts 100% breathable high density foam to protect the horse’s back, without adding bulk.

However, the flaps of the pad are ultra thin, and contain no padding whatsoever…which helps to provide the rider with a more stable riding position. I’ve been super happy with the amount of protection that the Secure XC Pad provides, with so little bulk.

The ergonomically shaped flaps also fit oh so very nicely underneath my close contact saddle. I find the pad to lay quite nicely on my horse’s back…and I’m even happier to see how pleasing to the eye it looks underneath my saddle.

Looking to the underside of the Secure XC Pad, I like that it is almost entirely covered with a non slip grippy material. Under the wither area though, is a different story. The area of the pad that sits on the withers is crafted out of a smooth material, so as not to cause irritation.

The Secure XC Saddle Pad is made out of high tech 100% breathable materials. In this way, the pad allows moisture to quickly evaporate away from a sweaty horse. So even on hot days, your horse can stay a bit cooler.

I’ve used the Secure XC Saddle Pad on all 3 of my horses, and have found that it works wonderfully. Based on my experience, I feel like the name is very well suited to the pad. Because I can attest to the fact that my saddle does not slip or slide during use!

I also like the EcoGold logos that the pad sports on both sides of the Secure XC Saddle Pad. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I also like the EcoGold logos that the pad sports on both sides of the Secure XC Saddle Pad. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Even when riding my young gelding, Roo, I feel like the Secure XC Saddle Pad does a really nice job keeping my saddle in place when riding. And it stays right in place even when I’m riding without a breastplate for additional stability.

I’m also happy to know that the 100% breathable high density foam helps to protect my horse’s back from impact as I ride. This has been especially important to me, and is another big reason why I like to use the pad when riding Roo.

After having ridden through an entire Summer with the Secure XC Saddle Pad, I can also speak to the breathability of the pad. While my horses still sweat, I do find that the Secure pad does allow sweat to evaporate and dry at a good rate.

And even though I’m a very happy user of the Secure XC Saddle Pad based on function alone, I still have to mention it’s appearance. I simply adore the Navy color that the pads comes in, along with the option to add your country’s flag to your pad.

Since my XC colors are red, white & blue, my Roo is a really patriotic pony when he shows off his USA pride while wearing his Secure Pad. Flag options are also available for Canada, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain & the UK.

After a lot of use, and being washed multiple times over a year, I’m also happy to report that the pad appears to have held up very well. The color has not faded, and I don’t notice any wear spots. I also like the EcoGold logos that the pad sports on both sides.

The Secure XC Saddle Pad is available from EcoGold, and has a retail price of $170.00. The pad comes in Brown, White, Navy, Black and Burgundy. Adding a flag option (which appears on both sides of the pad) can be done for an additional $10.00. You can find the Secure XC Saddle Pad here.

Go Stylish & Function Saddle Pads. Go EcoGold. Go Eventing.

Product Review: FITS Jordan Unisex Fullseat Breeches

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

I've found the fit of the Jordan breeches to look quite fabulous with my build. The breeches have a mid rise fit, and also feature two slant pockets, belt loops and a front zip closure. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. I've found the fit of the Jordan breeches to look quite fabulous with my build. The breeches have a mid rise fit, and also feature two slant pockets, belt loops and a front zip closure. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I have a little bit of a confession to make…sometimes, I find myself wearing men’s outerwear. Hoodies. Fleeces. And sometimes even sweaters. What can I say, it’s a little tough to find outerwear that fits when you’re one of the tall girls.

Just when I didn’t think I could look at another crop sweater, or wear a hoodie with ‘too short’ sleeves, I got some great advice. When sharing my fashion woes one day in the office, a co worker suggested grabbing a hoodie from the mens department…its what she does!

So sometimes when I want to wear something super comfortable, I grab one of the mens sweatshirts or sweaters that have taken up residence in my drawers. They are more of a boxy, unisex style that is not only comfortable, but actually kindof flattering!

In another point during my life, I may have shyed away from a relaxed, boxy unisex fit. But now, I find that I embrace it. And you know what else…I’ve found myself absolutely smitten with the new FITS Jordan Unisex Fullseat breeches.

Now, some minds might automatically equate the word “unisex” with a styling more geared towards men. I would beg to disagree with this particular line of thought. For the Jordan Unisex Fullseat Breeches were made to flatter both men and women.

I’ve found the fit of the Jordan breeches to look quite fabulous with my build. They are a Euro styled full seat breech, that boast perforated deerskin panels. The breeches have a mid rise fit, and also feature two slant pockets, belt loops and a front zip closure.

But my favorite aspect of the PerforMAX fabric is the compression properties that it contains. I do find that the compression of the fabric does help to reduce muscle fatigue in my legs. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

But my favorite aspect of the PerforMAX fabric is the compression properties that it contains. I do find that the compression of the fabric does help to reduce muscle fatigue in my legs. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

One of my personal favorite features of the Jordan breeches is the fact that they are made out of FITS All Season PerforMAX fabric. As someone who has ridden in many a pair of FITS breeches, I would consider myself a self admitted super fan of this particular fabric.

The All Season PerforMAX fabric is a 29% Lycra micro knit that helps to provide compression and muscle support…all while keeping riders cool in warm weather, and warm during cold weather. This particular fabric is also super smooth, and easily sheds dirt, hair, and hay.

The Jordan breeches also feature a built in power mesh ab panel, which helps to support the core. And my personal opinion…the ab panel is also flattering! Looking downwards, the lower leg of the breeches features a mesh fabric to help provide additional ventilation.

From the first time that I pulled on my pair of Jordan Fullseat Breeches, I felt fabulous wearing a supremely comfortable pair of breeches. The flattering fit, along with the ultra comfortable PerforMAX fabric and seam free crotch are a terrific combination, in my opinion.

After pulling on the Jordan breeches, I generally have the urge to wear them like everywhere I go…they are just that comfortable. And as I said, I find the fit to be quite flattering for my particular body type and build.

I find the segmented design of the full seat to be more comfortable, and the deerskin to provide a great amount of traction while I'm in the saddle. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I find the segmented design of the full seat to be more comfortable, and the deerskin to provide a great amount of traction while I’m in the saddle. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I’m a bit of a curvy gal, and the mid rise helps me feel like I’ve got adequate coverage (I always avoid ultra low rise breeches like the plague). The stretchy PerforMAX fabric fits well and is supportive, while the waistline fits well without any gapping.

I definitely appreciate the power mesh ab panel, as it helps to smooth things out while giving me an extra dash of confidence. And who couldn’t use a little extra confidence while wearing a pair of breeches? I also like that the two side slant pockets are generously sized.

Now let’s revisit the All Season PerforMAX fabric…I’ve ridden in this particular fabric in various temperatures. And I do agree that it helps to cool in the warm temperatures, and insulate in cold temperatures. Which does indeed help to keep me comfortable.

But my favorite aspect of the PerforMAX fabric is the compression properties that it contains. I do find that the compression of the fabric does help to reduce muscle fatigue in my legs. Especially when I’m practicing trotting in two point to build up muscle tone after winter.

And let’s not forget about the perforated deerskin fullseat patches, which help to provide a terrific grip in the saddle. I find the segmented design of the full seat to be more comfortable, and the deerskin to provide a great amount of traction while I’m in the saddle.

The Jordan Unisex Fullseat Breeches are available in both Black and Hickory (pictured). Sizes range in womens from size XS to XXL (numbered size 0 to 20), and in mens from size XS to XL (a 26″ to 36″ waist). Both colors have a retail price of $279.00, and you can find them here.

Go Comfortable & Flattering Breeches. Go FITS. Go Eventing.

Fab Freebie: Kerrits GripTek Fullseat Breeches

Get a grip with a pair of Kerrits GripTek Fullseat Breeches! Photo via Kerrits Get a grip with a pair of Kerrits GripTek Fullseat Breeches! Photo via Kerrits

Most of us have been waiting an entire year, and it’s finally here! So let’s kick off Rolex week the right way with another Fab Freebie here on EN. One lucky reader will be getting a grip when they take home a pair of Kerrits GripTek Fullseat Riding Breeches.

GripTek Fullseat breeches are seriously sticky to help keep riders “tight in their tack”. These breeches are made out of Durable Dynamic Extreme stretch woven fabric, which helps to provide a no show coverage.

The GripTek Fullseat breeches boast a Coolmax lining, and they are also needle punched in order to provide increased breathability and ventilation during wear. They also feature a 2″ Flow Rise waistband, along with belt loops.

Talk about easy to care for; the GripTek Fullseat breeches take a machine wash cold, with a tumble dry no heat. They are available in three colors: white, tan and black. All three colors have a retail price of $119.00, and you can find them here.

And until April 30th, any pair of fullseat riding breeches that are ordered from the Kerrits site here, come with free shipping to US addresses!

A special thanks goes out to Kerrits for providing this week’s prize! So you know the drill. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and then check back in our Friday News & Notes, where we will announce our lucky winner. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Information given in the Rafflecopter widget, including email addresses, may be shared with the corresponding sponsor at their request. You will also be signed up for our weekly EN eNews email newsletter, if you aren’t already. Don’t worry — you’ll just wonder what you’ve been missing out on — and you can unsubscribe if you don’t want it.

Product Review: Noble Outfitters Legacy Coat

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

I'm also very happy with the windproof and water resistant properties of the Legacy Coat, as they do a really nice job at keep me sheltered from the elements. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. I'm also very happy with the windproof and water resistant properties of the Legacy Coat, as they do a really nice job at keep me sheltered from the elements. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I’m so happy that the world has come to life again with the arrival of spring. However, Mother Nature is a bit of a trickster. While the days are warm enough to don a t shirt for spending time outside, evenings can be a different story entirely.

Once the sun starts to dip down in the sky, the air turns chilly pretty quickly. This means that it’s time to get my layering on. Let’s just say that It can be a bit of a challenge to try to stay warm enough, but without being too warm.

Riding during the evenings, I often find myself pulling out a jacket or coat — a modest type of layer that can help to keep me comfortable after the sun is going down. The funny thing is, I experienced the same type of weather in the fall season as well.

A piece that has served me well through the fall, and now during spring has been the Legacy Coat from Noble Outfitters. Now, I was a fan of the appearance of the Legacy Coat from the first time that I saw it. The longer length of the coat helps it to look elegant, with a classic styling.

The Legacy Coat is designed out of a softshell type of material, which is both windproof and water resistant. Along with holding up to windy and wet conditions, the fabric also stretches, which makes it more comfortable when I’m spending time in the saddle.

Let’s dig into the features a little further, shall we? The Legacy Coat has a two way, durable feeling zipper up the front, and has a flap with Dual Prym snaps shut over top. There are two zip pockets on either side, a zip pocket on the chest and one on the left wrist.

I personally like the structured, fitted look that Legacy Coat provides. The princess side seams, coupled with the adjustable belt help to provide a very flattering look, both in and out of the saddle. The velcro sleeve cuffs are also adjustable.

Looking to the back of the coat, let’s start at the bottom hem and work our way up. The back of the Legacy Coat features two zipper back vents, so that it comfortably fits over the saddle. Plus, I also find using the double zip on the front allows for more freedom of movement as well.

The back of the Legacy Coat features two zipper back vents, so that it comfortably fits over the saddle. Plus, I also find using the double zip on the front allows for more freedom of movement as well. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The back of the Legacy Coat features two zipper back vents, so that it comfortably fits over the saddle. Plus, I also find using the double zip on the front allows for more freedom of movement as well. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

While I find that the stretch of the fabric makes a noticeable difference when I’m riding, the relief that is built into both of the shoulders helps to provide additional comfort. One point that I keep coming back to is that the Legacy Coat was designed with riding in mind.

The tall collar of the Legacy Coat does a nice job in keeping the elements out. During windy or wet weather, I simply zip up all of the way to help keep dry and warm. On warmer days, I can unzip partially for a different style, plus more ventilation.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the saddle wearing the Legacy Coat. So what are some of my very favorite features? The stretchy softshell material is definitely a terrific fabric. I find it to be super comfortable, and I am very happy with the range of movement that I have.

I’m also very happy with the windproof and water resistant properties of the Legacy Coat, as they do a really nice job at keep me sheltered from the elements. The windproof and waterproof fabric, combined with the tall collar keep me both dry and warm.

Another aspect of the Legacy Coat that I’m a fan of is the fit. I simply adore the tailored fit of the coat, and the coordinating belt accentuates the waistline nicely. I also find that is very comfortable to wear while in the saddle, thanks to the zip back vents.

The numerous pockets are also something that I look upon favorably. The two side zip pockets are generously sized enough to fit my large smartphone in it’s case. I also like the small zip pocket on the left sleeve, as it can even fit a tube of chapstick.

The Legacy Coat has a very flattering and is functional as well. I’ve been able to ride comfortably in all kinds of weather, while still looking terrific. There is not much more that I can ask for in a piece of outerwear than that.

The Legacy Coat is available from Noble Outfitters in two different colors, which are black and wine (pictured). The coat come in women’s sizes XS through XL. Both colors have a retail price of $219.95, and you can find them here.

Go Flattering & Functional Outerwear.  Go Noble Outfitters.  Go Eventing.

Product Review: Tapestry Comfort Girth

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

Looking back to the center of the girth...the 6 Looking back to the center of the girth...the 6" sternum pad is made of the same quality leather, and it features a D ring for a breastplate or martingale. And on the side of the pad that comes into contact with your horse, a non slip neoprene will help to keep the pad in place. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I’m not especially fond of jeans that fit a little too snugly. They tend to pinch at the waist and are really not comfortable in the very least. Which helps when I try to relate to the fact that my quarter horse gelding Ripley has been girthy during the whole time I’ve owned him.

When it’s time to tack Ripley up for a ride, I’ve developed a routine. Place saddle pad on back. Add saddle. And of course, tighten girth. Something that really behooves me though, is to not forget that Ripley becomes irritated that this point, and reaches around to bite.

It’s true that I’ve become quite adept at dodging Ripley as he tries to bite me, while I tighten his girth. Even though I tried to address the issue in the past, I’ve never made any headway. It’s a habit that I’ve found easier to side step and then ignore.

Over the years, I’ve even tried different girths with Ripley. I’ve been happy to find him to be happier and more accepting of some, which has definitely been a good thing for him. But I was pretty interested when I first saw a video about an entirely different looking girth.

When I first saw a video of the Tapestry Comfort Girth, I was intrigued at the concept. A girth that is designed for the comfort of the horse, so that it can breathe and expand evenly when needed? This, I absolutely had to see in action.

So let’s break it down and look at what makes the Tapestry Comfort Girth different than a traditional girth. The most striking difference is the elastic. While most girths have elastic ends, the Tapestry Girth is pretty much the opposite of what most are used to.

The Tapestry Girth is crafted with leather at both ends, along with a sternum pad in the center. The rest of the girth? That’s made out of three bands of elastic that are woven together, so that it can BREATHE with your horse, and eliminate pressure behind the elbow.

Close up view of the 6" sternum pad, with a non slip neoprene backing. Photo by Colleen Peachey.

Close up view of the 6″ sternum pad, with a non slip neoprene backing. Photo by Colleen Peachey.

The leather at either end of the Tapestry Girth feels to be of durable and of high quality. And, the leather boasts lovely stitching detail as well. The ends also feature two stainless steel buckles on each of them.

Looking back to the center of the girth…the 6″ sternum pad is made of the same quality leather, and it features a D ring for a breastplate or martingale. And on the side of the pad that comes into contact with your horse, a non slip neoprene will help to keep the pad in place.

I was pretty excited to try out the Tapestry Comfort Girth on my own horses. Really, I wanted to observe whether they appeared to feel a difference when wearing it, versus a traditional type of girth. The concept of the elastic really had me intrigued.

I’ve worn the Tapestry Girth on two of my horses, first on my ‘girthy’ gelding, Ripley. When I tacked Ripley up with the Tapestry Girth for the first time, I approached tightening it the same as I would a traditional girth. Nice and slowly…while keeping an eye out for him to try biting me.

Except for the fact that he didn’t. I was careful to tighten the girth slowly, as I would any other girth. And he completely shocked me when he did not reach around to try to bite me. After this lack of reaction, I was even more interested to see how he acted under saddle.

While riding with the Tapestry Comfort Girth, Ripley gave all indications that he was happy and comfortable with his work. I would even say that he is seems to be overall less moody and more cooperative when I’m asking him to work.

It’s safe to say that I was exceedingly happy with how the Tapestry Girth has worked out for Ripley. And I also wanted to try it out on my young DWB/TB gelding, Rufus, who started under saddle last year. Roo is a sensitive horse, who took some getting used to the feel of the girth early on.

ComfortGirthDetails4

In the early stages of getting him started, Roo spent a good bit of time lunging under tack. And while getting used to it, he definitely threw in some “silly pony antics” (as I like to call them), because he kept getting pinched by the girth I was using.

I was interested to try the Tapestry Girth out on Roo, since he is a sensitive green bean of a horse. Roo started wearing a Tapestry Girth after his training was well underway, and his “pony antics” had already noticeably decreased.

Which is a little sad, because I think he must have started to get used to the pinching feeling of the traditional girth. Observing Roo after he started wearing the Tapestry girth, I found that he appeared to be comfortable moving forward.

And when I was in the saddle, I found that Roo was well behaved for me. Again, he seemed comfortable moving under tack, and I did not experience any “silly pony antics”…which is a blessing, since I’m not a super adventurous rider!

I was happy that the Tapestry Comfort Girth worked well for me on two completely different horses. They are different types of horses, are of different age groups, and at two very different places in their training. How many ways can I use the word different?

The Tapestry Girth appeared to provide a benefit for both Ripley and Roo, for which I was very happy. Cleaning the girth is important, as I’m often someone who slacks off when it comes to tack cleaning. The leather should be cleaned with saddle soap and oil, and the elastic with a wet dandy brush and non chemical shampoo.

The Tapestry Comfort Girth is brought to you by the creator of the Spursuader (you can check out our review of them here). The English Girth is available in brown easy care leather in sizes 38″ to 54″, and retails for $149. You can find them here. And you can also check out a video about the Tapestry Comfort Girth here.

Go Comfort for Your Horse. Go Tapestry Comfort Girth. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Formal Glory Custom Halter and Lead

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

I don't usually gush, but I have been supremely happy with Ripley's halter and lead. While the pieces are special, they are tough enough to withstand the everyday wear of barn life. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. I don't usually gush, but I have been supremely happy with Ripley's halter and lead. While the pieces are special, they are tough enough to withstand the everyday wear of barn life. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Most of us who have been around horses are lucky enough to be able to look back at one truly special horse. One who helped to shape our riding, and had a huge impact on our lives in general. You know, the fabled “once in a lifetime” horse.

Some of us are even blessed enough to still have our once in a lifetime horses in our lives today. Sitting on the edge of turning 30, I feel incredibly fortunate to still have my very first horse. Especially since Ripley came into my life when I was only 15.

Instead of wanting a car like most girls my age, all I asked for was my own horse. Ripley was quite the project when he came into my life as an abused horse. He taught me valuable lessons in how to have patience, and value small victories, which applied in and out of the saddle.

How is this story relevant, you might ask? It takes more than a few short sentences to convey how much Ripley means to me. But anyone else who has had (or hopefully still has) an extra special horse in their life can relate. And they all have their own special story to tell.

When my parents bought me Ripley, there wasn’t a budget to buy lots of fancy tack. I bought a lot second hand, and was over the moon to do so because I had my own horse. One thing I did buy for Ripley was a chestnut colored leather halter, with his own brass engraved nameplate.

I talk about Ripley’s old leather halter because I loved that it was specifically “his”. It wasn’t especially pretty. But I was so darn proud of the name plate. So replacing it now that it is old and worn out was kind of a big deal for me.

Ripley's special halter and lead boast some eye catching red, white and blue beads, along with some sparkly crystals alternated between them. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Ripley’s special halter and lead boast some eye catching red, white and blue beads, along with some sparkly crystals alternated between them. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

A company that I was interested to learn about was Formal Glory, LLC. I first became familiar with the company when I saw photos of one of their lovely beaded browbands. Upon further investigation, I found that Formal Glory’s specializes in hand made tack items.

Starting with the leather, Formal Glory crafts each of their pieces by hand. From there, each piece is custom designed by Chris Wrona, the company’s founder and owner, which means that every piece created is as unique and special as the horse that it is crafted for.

In addition to browbands, Formal Glory’s custom product portfolio also includes halters, leads, belts, dog collars, leashes and more. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Chris, as she created a special customized halter and lead for Ripley.

Working with Chris was a truly terrific experience, because I spent time conversing with her over email and over the phone. We talked about Ripley, and I told her his story and how he came into my life. What little things make him special and a bit about his personality.

We also went on to talk about the details of what I could picture a new halter for Ripley looking like: what color leather he would look best in, what my colors are, even what tone hardware the halter should have. Basically, we covered every little detail.

After spending time chatting with Chris, I felt really excited. From talking with her, she understood why Ripley is so important to me. And her philosophy? She creates custom pieces which bring out the beauty of the special horse that they are made for.

Ripley's halter features custom beading on both cheek pieces, and the noseband. And I was very happy to see the heavy duty stitching on the halter and lead. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Ripley’s halter features custom beading on both cheek pieces, and the noseband. And I was very happy to see the heavy duty stitching on the halter and lead. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

So I anxiously awaited the arrival of Ripley’s custom designed halter and lead, oh so very excited to see how it would turn out. On the day that the package arrived, I was truly touched. I opened it to find a large box, with some beautiful and motivational words on it.

Pulling the lid of the box open, I found Ripley’s new halter and lead, which looked and felt better than I could imagine. The chestnut colored leather of the halter gave a respectful nod to Ripley’s original halter and it looks wonderful with his coat color.

I was very happy to find that the leather of both the halter and the lead felt heavy and durable. The leather is American hide, which is also tanned in America. Both of these points are important to me, as someone who advocates for made in the USA products.

What really caught my attention was the custom beading. Ripley’s special halter and lead boast eye catching red, white and blue beads, along with some sparkly crystals alternated between them. The halter features beading on both cheek pieces and noseband.

The lead also features beading to match the halter. I was very happy to see the heavy duty stitching of both pieces. When I tried the halter on Ripley for the first time, it looked so very right to me, and the beading looked stunning on Ripley.

Formal Glory creates custom pieces which bring out the beauty of the special horse that they are made for. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Formal Glory creates custom pieces which bring out the beauty of the special horse that they are made for. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

After sending some pictures to Chris, she was concerned that the fit was a little snug. So she send a replacement crownpiece to help make the fit just right for Ripley. I really appreciated this attention to detail, as Chris wanted to make sure that the piece fit just right.

Ripley has been wearing his custom halter and lead since last August. The halter and lead still look terrific after everyday barn use. The leather looks and feels great, and the beads are nice and secure, so I’m very happy with how both have held up to barn life.

I don’t usually gush, but I have been supremely happy with Ripley’s halter and lead. While the pieces are special, they are tough enough to withstand the everyday wear of barn life. Not to mention that the entire experience of having the pieces created was quite special.

Since each piece from Formal Glory is custom designed and hand made, it is a unique and special shopping experience. Each piece is also made to be affordable: browbands are $54.00, halters are $135.00, and leads are $90.00 with a chain, or $70.00 without (shipping is additional).

All items crafted by Formal Glory have a 14 day money back guarantee, AND they also include a lifetime warranty, should anything go wrong with the product. So for the life of the item, you can return it to be repaired or replaced, as long as Formal Glory is operating.

To inquire about starting the process to create a personalized piece for your own special horse, contact Chris Wrona by emailing [email protected] You can also visit Formal Glory’s Facebook page to see other pieces they have created.

Go Special Halters (for Special Horses). Go Formal Glory. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Jin Stirrup Irons

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

But what's more, I love that they also sport my name along the outside, which is visible while my feet are in the irons. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. But what's more, I love that they also sport my name along the outside, which is visible while my feet are in the irons. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Sometimes, the items that I use in everyday life can be a bit ordinary at times. A girl can only be surrounded by so many neutral tones. Which is why I personally try to infuse a pop of color into day to day life whenever I have the opportunity.

Since I’m an unofficial ‘queen of all things matchy matchy’, I don’t only like to add color into everyday life. I take it a step further, as I also like to use it as a way to color coordinate items. And the result? A polished and well put together look!

Let’s talk about riding apparel and gear, and by that I’m including everything that I’m wearing, and my horse is wearing. Adding color into the mix can be pretty simple, in certain ways. I can easily grab a colored top for me, and a bright colored saddle pad for my horse.

This kind of color coordination is pretty basic though. And as a ‘queen of all things matchy matchy’, I want to take my coordination to the next level. Which surprisingly enough, involves me bringing my tack into my realm of color coordination.

As I go to tack up one of my horses, I grab a pad and my saddle, which is equipped with all of basics: irons and leathers. Which irons and leathers don’t sound like they would be particularly exciting, both are oh so very important when I’m in the saddle.

There are many irons on the market today, available in different materials, styles and more. While I’m a bit focused on style, something that I won’t compromise on is function. Because a jazzed up stirrup iron might look great, but it must also support my performance in the saddle.

My pair of Jin Stirrup irons are red, which helps them to color coordinate with my apparel and gear. The red of the irons certainly lends an extra pop of color! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

My pair of Jin Stirrup irons are red, which helps them to color coordinate with my apparel and gear. The red of the irons certainly lends an extra pop of color! Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The stirrup irons that I’ve been happy to be riding in lately are a pair of Jin Stirrup irons. The first thing about Jin irons that caught my attention is the wide variety of colors that they are available in. Colored irons have always fascinated me, because they really look fantastic.

But I want my irons to be more than a pretty face. There are a couple of features that I want to see. First, I’m kind of obsessed with wide tread stirrups, as I feel like they give me a better base of support. Which helps make me feel more secure in the saddle.

In addition to the wide width, I also like the tread to provide a good amount of traction. A pair of irons with traction generally help to keep me from dropping my irons. Which also makes it an important feature for me, personally.

Jin Stirrup irons are visually appealing at first glance. The design is attractive, and I also like the subtle Jin Stirrup logo that graces the front of the irons. They are made out of certified sky high quality aluminum, each iron only weights about 3/4 of a pound.

The foot bed of Jin Stirrup irons provides a wide base of support, which certainly makes me happy. And as part of the wide base, the tread features a grated, diamond like pattern. Both the base and tread combine to provide support and traction.

Another really fun option that I simply adore, is the ability to personalize the irons. Jin Stirrup irons are 100% made in Italy, and when they are ordered directly from the manufacturer, having them personalized is an available option.

The wide tread of the Jin Stirrups help to provide my feet with a supportive base that continues to help me feel secure in the saddle. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The wide tread of the Jin Stirrups help to provide my feet with a supportive base that continues to help me feel secure in the saddle. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

My pair of Jin Stirrups are red, which helps them to color coordinate with my apparel and gear. The red of the irons certainly lends an extra pop of color. But what’s more, I love that they sport my name along the outside, which is visible while my feet are in the irons.

I also want to point out that the color of Jin Stirrup irons is anodized, which helps to provide protection from corrosion. During all of the use that my irons, I haven’t seen any kind of effect or compromise to the color. It still looks as good as it did on day 1 of use.

Riding in Jin Stirrup irons has been a very lovely experience for me because they really do hit the features that are really important to me in a stirrup. The wide tread helps to provide my feet with a supportive base that continues to help me feel secure in the saddle.

I also find that the grated diamond tread of the base allows my feet to have a good amount of grip, which seems to reduce the number of times I lose my irons. And one of my favorite features is what I call the ‘landing strip’ on the back side.

On the rear of the irons, the tread angles downwards, which helps me when I’m going to pick up my irons. I also find that that extra angled bit of tread helps to give me a better grip when I’m flexing my feet while they are in the irons.

Another feature that I notice when riding in Jin Stirrup irons is their weight. Or shall I say, lack of weight. I personally like that the irons are lightweight, since they are crafted from aluminum. They also help make my saddle a little lighter when I carry it, which is a plus.

Jin Stirrup irons are available for purchase directly from the Jin Stirrup website. Irons are available in a 11 different colors on their website, which you can view here. A pair of irons retails for 147 Euros, which converts to just under $170.

You can learn more about the features of Jin Stirrup irons here, and irons are also available from select retailers in the United States.

Go Colorful & Functional Stirrup Irons. Go Jin Stirrups. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Weatherbeeta Elite All Purpose Saddle Pad

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

Thanks to the extra features, the Elite pad can go a little above and beyond what a normal cotton pad can. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. Thanks to the extra features, the Elite pad can go a little above and beyond what a normal cotton pad can. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Everyone has certain things that they are drawn to, especially when fashion is involved. Take me for instance…when it comes to my wardrobe, I’m a boots and handbags kind of girl. And they are among my favorite items that I have fun pairing with everything else in my closet.

When it comes down to it, I simply can’t have enough pairs of boots, or cute handbags. Because there’s always room for one more, riiiiight? A different style. Another color. There are countless varieties, and they can always find a place in my collection.

Around the tack room, an item that I find myself collecting are saddle pads. When you consider yourself ‘queen of all things matchy matchy’ like I do, a saddle pad to go with every possible color scheme is an absolute must.

Many of the pads in my collection are plain quilted pads in various shades of red or blue. Though I also find that a number of neutral pads have taken up residence in my tack room. Various pads in white, black and gray match everything…and look good doing so.

There are many different options aside from color choices. Many pads have additional technology, to help bring improved functionality and performance. I’ve also got a variety of pads to choose from that are non slip, shimmable, or made of other fabrics (i.e. sheepskin).

One of the pads that I’ve used pretty frequently has been the Elite All Purpose Saddle Pad from Weatherbeeta. After using this particular pad over the course of the past year, I’ve found it is still one that I keep going back to time and time again.

I do notice a difference in that my horse appears to be a little drier and feels a little cooler after wearing the Elite pad, than he does while wearing a traditional cotton pad. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I do notice a difference in that my horse appears to be a little drier and feels a little cooler after wearing the Elite pad, than he does while wearing a traditional cotton pad. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The outer side of the Elite pad is crafted from a soft and durable sueded fabric that is visually appealing. I found that when mine first arrived, I kept running my hand over the pad, because it feels really soft to the touch. And that soft feel has never gone away due to use.

The under side of the pad boasts a mesh looking lining that helps to wick moisture away. Which is a very helpful feature when I’m striving to keep my horses as dry and comfortable as possible during their time working under saddle.

A feature that is pretty darn cool is the mesh spine, which helps to promote a cool and comfortable ride. The fabric along the spine of the pad is a breathable mesh, which helps to promote extra airflow. Which is always appreciated during hot summer months.

Another great feature, in my opinion, is the grippy silicone Weatherbeeta logo that is on the pad. The grippy logo is strategically located underneath where the saddle will sit. So it can help to reduce slippage during use, while remaining invisible to the eye.

I also find the PVC colored girth patch to be a terrific feature of the Elite pad. The patch feels smooth, yet tough. And, it is located where it can help provide additional durability and also to lessen the wear caused by the girth over time.

I’ve used the Elite All Purpose pad heavily over the past year to school my young horse. And I have found that it performs as well as my normal pads, and then some. Thanks to the extra features, the Elite pad can go a little above and beyond what a normal cotton pad can.

The Weatherbeeta grippy logo is strategically located underneath where the saddle will sit. So it can help to reduce slippage during use, while remaining invisible to the eye. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Weatherbeeta grippy logo is strategically located underneath where the saddle will sit. So it can help to reduce slippage during use, while remaining invisible to the eye. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

While the suede look of the fabric helps the Elite pad to look a little fancier, the functional features are what really make a difference. In terms of performance, I personally like the grippy silicone logo that does a nice job in keeping my saddle in place while schooling.

And I’ve found that the combination of the wicking liner and the breathable mesh spine to provide great function during the warm weather. The liner and spine work together in order to help try to keep my horse a little cooler and a little more comfortable.

By no means does a wicking pad magically help my horse to stay completely dry under his pad. But I do notice a difference in that he appears to be a little drier and feels a little cooler than he does while wearing a traditional cotton pad.

I also find that I like the styling detail of the small Weatherbeeta logo located on the bottom corner on the left side of the pad. Because of this logo, I make sure to use this pad specifically for schooling, training or just hacking out…basically, for anything other than showing.

And in my experience, I’ve found the Elite pad to be quite durable. Even after heavy use and going through the wash, the pad still looks really nice to the eye. The color of the pad does not appear to have faded, and the fabric still feels soft and durable to the touch.

The Weatherbeeta Elite All Purpose Pad is available in a range of colors in Full size, including White, Purple, Light Blue, Pink, Gray, Navy and Black. The pad is also available in Pony size, in a limited range of colors. The Elite All Purpose Pad retails for $59.99, and you can learn more about it here.

Go Saddle Pads (with a little something extra). Go Weatherbeeta. Go Eventing.

 

Product Review: Danner Quarry USA Boots

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

So the verdict? Work boots really can make for a great pair of boots to wear around the barn. The Quarry USA boots from Danner have kept my feel comfortable, protected and dry.  Photo by Lorraine Peachey. So the verdict? Work boots really can make for a great pair of boots to wear around the barn. The Quarry USA boots from Danner have kept my feel comfortable, protected and dry. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

My feet tend to cover a lot of ground when I’m working around the barn…just ask my Fitbit! When you manage your own barn and care for your own horses, there are a lot of chores involved. Stall mucking. Water buckets. Stacking hay. And just managing horses in general.

Anyone who manages a barn or farm can attest to the fact that horses make for a lot of work. Which can put a lot of wear on my feet. Especially when I find myself walking significant distances, trudging through manure, urine, and water.

Conditions around the barn mean that my feet put up with a lot of abuse. And that’s before I get stepped on by a wayward hoof! All that being said, I definitely want to make sure that I wear footwear that adequately protects my feet when I’m around the barn.

Obviously, my riding boots are not the best choice of footwear for heavy duty barn work, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, comfort and utility…because my feet need more support when I’m spending hours on my feet, and am tracking all over the farm to bring horses to and fro.

And secondly, I’m concerned that wearing riding boots in the harsh conditions around the barn and paddock will prematurely ruin them. I’m thinking that regular exposure to manure, urine and water, combined with lots (and lots) of walking is NOT good for my boots.

While I’ve spent years wearing muck type boots around the barn, I’ve always wanted to try finding footwear that offer me more in the way of support, protection and durability. Especially since I tend to replace a typical pair of muck type boots every 9 months to a year.

Through mucking and walking through manure and urine, the leather has held up really well against such tough conditions. And I'm super happy to report that bedding releases nicely from the treads. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Through mucking and walking through manure and urine, the leather has held up really well against such tough conditions. And I’m super happy to report that bedding releases nicely from the treads. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Something that I’ve want to try out for years is choosing an entirely different type of footwear for extra tough barn conditions…a pair of work boots. Yes, that right…women’s work boots to wear around the barn and farm.

I’ve been wearing a pair of women’s Danner Quarry USA 7″ work boots. And over the past year, I’ve found that work boots are a great fit for life around the barn. They are durable, provide good traction, they protect my feet and are still comfortable…but I jump ahead.

One of the first things that attracted me to Danner boots is the fact that a number of their boot models are made right here in the USA, in Portland, Oregon. The Quarry USA boot is one such boot that is made in the USA (no surprise, especially with their name!).

The Quarry boot has a number of features that make them “barn tough”. They are made out of a full grain leather upper, which provides protection for the foot. When my pair of Quarrys arrived, I was excited to find a lovely looking and sturdy pair of work boots.

When I took them out of the box, they felt solid…the boots do have some weight to them, as they weight 60oz a pair. The leather felt smooth and durable, and I also took note of the rugged feeling hardware and heavy duty laces that were included.

And when I pulled the Quarry boots on for the first time, the leather felt like it was sturdy. I pulled the laces tight to get a comfortable, yet snug fit. Once I started wearing the boots to do my chores in, I found that they developed a pleasantly broken in feeling.

Over the past year, I've found that work boots are a great fit for life around the barn. They are durable, provide good traction, they protect my feet and are still comfortable. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Over the past year, I’ve found that work boots are a great fit for life around the barn. They are durable, provide good traction, they protect my feet and are still comfortable. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The stitching of the boots looked very nicely done to me…and it is triple stitched in order to help it hold up. The stitch down construction of the Quarry boot also has been handcrafted, to help provide increased stability.

The boots also feature a Vibram Quarry outsole, which means that it boasts a 90 degree heel and is made of a slip resistant rubber compound. The tread pattern provides traction, and it also releases debris. Like bedding particles and caked in mud, in my experience!

And something that should be familiar with equestrians, is also near and dear to my own heart. The Quarry boots feature a GORETEX lining, which is 100% waterproof and breathable. Which allows me to trudge through barn conditions without a second thought.

In all of my time in the Quarry boots, my feet have remained happy. Through mucking and walking through manure and urine, the leather has held up well against such tough conditions. And I’m super happy to report that bedding releases nicely from the treads.

When doing a lot of standing around on concrete holding horses for the farrier, my feet stay more comfortable in the Quarry boots versus normal muck type boots. And I have found that if a horse quickly steps on my foot, they help to protect them well.

And even when I trudge though muddy paddocks and fields to go and catch my horses, I don’t have to worry about my feet getting soggy or wet. Thanks to the GORETEX lining, my feet do stay dry through all kinds of mud and puddles.

So the verdict? Work boots really can make for a great pair of boots to wear around the barn. The Quarry USA boots from Danner have kept my feel comfortable, protected and dry. The boots have a retail price of $250.00, and you can find them here.

Go Comfortable and Durable Barn Boots. Go Danner. Go Eventing.

Fab Freebie: Be Ready for Spring with a Kerrits Breakaway Stretch Vest

The full length zipper of the front works well, and is lined on either side with reflective detailing for style and safety. And a personal favorite feature of mine are the black colored slimming side panels. Photo by Lorraine Peachey The full length zipper of the front works well, and is lined on either side with reflective detailing for style and safety. And a personal favorite feature of mine are the black colored slimming side panels. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

Spring is (finally) here, which means it’s time to put away winter wardrobes in favor of all things bright and colorful. I’m pretty excited to bid my fleece lined riding tights and layers upon layers (upon layers) of cold weather outerwear farewell for now. Because I’m entirely ready to embrace my lightweight Springtime layers.

To celebrate the beginning of Spring, this week one lucky reader will score a Breakaway Stretch Vest from Kerrits. The Breakaway vest can help you start out the season with a versatile layering piece that is fashionable, yet functional. I recently took the Breakaway vest for a spin, and you can read all about my experience here.

The Breakaway Stretch Vest provides a comfortable and traditional look in the, with something fun in the back. For the mesh back allows the color and pattern of your shirt show through, which allows for a fun styling detail. And what’s even cooler (literally), is that the vest can also be worn as a stand alone tank when the temperatures turn even warmer.

Another cool feature that the Breakaway vest boasts are the reach stash pockets, that provide plenty of space for gloves, chapstick and horse treats. And what makes the pockets even more functional is the silicone grip under the back hem of the vest, which helps to keep it in place. So it doesn’t ‘ride up’ in an unattractive and uncomfortable way!

Check out the Kerrits Breakaway Stretch Vest here, which comes in a variety of color options…including a conservative Black, a ‘wild’ Silver Animal, and a tastefully bold Berry Mirage. Each of the three retail for $79.00, and you can check them out here.

A special thanks goes out to Kerrits for providing the prize for this week’s Fab Freebie.

So you know the drill. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter, and then check back in our Friday News & Notes, where we will announce our lucky winner. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Information given in the Rafflecopter widget, including email addresses, may be shared with the corresponding sponsor at their request. You will also be signed up for our weekly EN eNews email newsletter, if you aren’t already. Don’t worry — you’ll just wonder what you’ve been missing out on — and you can unsubscribe if you don’t want it.

Product Review: Kerrits Breakaway Stretch Vest

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

While the front of the Breakaway vest provides a very traditional vest appearance, the black mesh back provides an entirely different look. When worn with other shirts, you can see the colors and patterns of them right through the mesh back. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. While the front of the Breakaway vest provides a very traditional vest appearance, the black mesh back provides an entirely different look. When worn with other shirts, you can see the colors and patterns of them right through the mesh back. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Spring is a season that I welcome with open arms…especially since it means that I can bid farewell to cold temperatures and snow. Aside from my obvious excitement at the longer days, which allow me to spend much more time riding, there are many other things positives.

One of the many happenings of Spring that I look forward to is watching the landscape come back to life again. It’s exciting to watch as the drab and dreary brownish grass turns into a lush carpet of green. Or when the skeletal looking trees wake up and start growing leaves.

But perhaps the most eye catching part is seeing all of the Spring bulbs pop up and bloom. All of the brilliant colors look cheery, and help spread some much needed cheer after a dark and drab season of cold. Who can’t use a little color?

And color was one of the reasons that I found myself drawn to the Spring collection of riding apparel from Kerrits. There are a number of different patterns and colors that make it super easy to create looks that are polished and coordinated, that still look fun.

Since I’m a ‘matchy matchy’ gal, the prospect of many different ways to coordinate patterns and colors got me pretty darn excited. So to start out the season, I’ve chosen to wear the Breakaway Stretch Vest in the eye catching color of Berry Mirage.

While I’m still on the topic of color, I’ll mention that the Breakaway Stretch Vest comes in a range three of them, for varying preferences. There’s a conservative solid Black, a sassy looking Silver Animal, and the bold looking Berry Mirage.

The full length zipper of the front works well, and is lined on either side with reflective detailing for style and safety. And a personal favorite feature of mine are the black colored slimming side panels. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The full length zipper of the front works well, and is lined on either side with reflective detailing for style and safety. And a personal favorite feature of mine are the black colored slimming side panels. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I personally found myself drawn to the Berry Mirage, simply because in my mind, it has such a range of styling options. Looking closely at the colors of the fabric, I see hues of pink, red, purple, aqua, and even black. Which means I have a lot of options of what I can pair it with.

As for me, I’ve paired the Breakaway Vest in Berry Mirage with a pair of Flow Rise Performance Riding Tights in Huckleberry. Which makes for a tastefully bright and cheerful look. However, many other colors options of tights or breeches would look equally fabulous.

So let’s talk about the features of the Breakaway Stretch vest that I really like…other than the colors! The Breakaway boasts a design that is truly different than many I’ve seen in the past. Because this vest can be traditionally worn at a layer, OR as a standalone tank top.

While the front of the Breakaway vest provides a traditional vest appearance, the black mesh back provides an entirely different look. When worn with other shirts, you can see the colors and patterns of them right through the mesh back…which is a lot of fun!

Since we haven’t had truly balmy temperatures here, I’ve stuck with layering the Breakaway Vest thus far. Though I’m looking forward to wearing it as a tank, as the mesh back should help me stay cool. And it might be fun to pair a fun colored sports bra underneath!

When pulling the Breakaway on, I find it to be extremely comfortable…because the entire vest feels like it has some stretch to it. The fabric is a combination of Fabrisuede Tactel and Ice Fil mesh, which provides the freedom of a 4 way stretch that is soft feeling and durable.

Anything that I stash in the back pockets of the Breakaway vest are easy to reach around and access. And thanks to the silicone grip at the back hem of the Breakaway vest, it stays in place even when items are stashed in the pockets. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Anything that I stash in the back pockets of the Breakaway vest are easy to reach around and access. And thanks to the silicone grip at the back hem of the Breakaway vest, it stays in place even when items are stashed in the pockets. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The full length zipper of the front works well, and is lined on either side with reflective detailing for style and safety. And a personal favorite feature of mine are the black colored slimming side panels. The panels stretch and breathe, and help provide a slimming effect.

Since storage pockets are a must have for me when it comes to my riding attire, I was also interested to try out the Breakaway vest. For it boasts three rear stash pockets that have some elastic built into the top to keep items secure.

I toss all kinds of items into my pockets…gloves, chapstick, horse treats, and even my phone. They stay put securely while I’m motoring around the barn, getting ready to ride. I have not ridden with my phone in the pocket, as I worry that its weight may cause it to bounce.

Anything that I stash in the back pockets of the Breakaway vest are easy to reach around and access. And the pockets can handle items that I place in them very well. And they do so without causing the back hem of the vest to ‘ride up’.

I personally detest when I have to reach around and pull down on a shirt of vest that ‘rides up’. It’s an uncomfortable and unattractive occurrence. But thanks to the silicone grip at the back hem of the Breakaway vest, it stays in place. Genius!

The Breakaway Stretch Vest is available from Kerrits, ranging in size from a Ladies XS to an XL. It has a retail price of $79 for each of the three colors, Silver Animal, Black and Berry Mirage (pictured). You can click here to learn more about the vest.

Go Style + Function. Go Kerrits. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Noble Outfitters Girl Tough Canvas Coat

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

While the Girl Tough is designed to be tough enough for life around the barn, it also helps me to look stylish while riding. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. While the Girl Tough is designed to be tough enough for life around the barn, it also helps me to look stylish while riding. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

It’s finally arrived: one of my very favorite days of the entire year. Sure, holidays are wonderful for spending extra time with family and friends. And I’m definitely a “birthday person”, so I those are extra fun days. But I’m talking about a day that any horse person can appreciate.

The beginning of daylight savings time is a cause for celebration. While I’m not thrilled feeling like I’m getting up an hour earlier each day, it doesn’t take long to adjust. And the extra daylight in the evenings finally allows me the time to ride after spending the day at work!

Daylight savings time means that spring is just around the corner. Even so, the temperatures have been fluctuating between warm and cool. For those days that have been on the chilly side, layering up when going out for a ride is a must.

Picking functional layers that are comfortable for riding is an important undertaking. Layers should provide enough warmth, yet also allow for freedom of movement to allow for effective riding. And ideally, layers will also be durable enough to hold up to barn life.

One of the layering pieces that has performed well for me is the Girl Tough Canvas Coat from Noble Outfitters. Since I started wearing the Girl Tough Coat, and it has served me as a comfortable and durable layering piece for life around the barn and in the saddle.

The number of pockets means that I have never have been left wanting more storage space for my phone, chapstick, horse cookies, and more. I like the "hidden" zipper pocket inside the left chest...which is perfect for fitting my phone. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The number of pockets means that I have never have been left wanting more storage space for my phone, chapstick, horse cookies, and more. I like the “hidden” zipper pocket inside the left chest…which is perfect for fitting my phone. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Girl Tough Canvas Coat gave the impression of being rugged from the first time I pulled it on. While the canvas material feels tough, it allows me freedom of movement without feeling stiff or restrictive. The 8.8oz canvas material also boasts a water repellent finish.

I also found the cut of the Girl Tough Coat to be flattering. In the past, I’ve found that appearance and durability don’t always go hand in hand. But while the Girl Tough is designed to be tough enough for barn life, it also helps me to look stylish while riding.

The Girl Tough has a YKK 2 way zipper up the front, which also features an adorable stirrup iron zipper pull. Over the zipper, there are also snap button closures, which provide a nice alternate option if I don’t feel like zipping up.

There are lots of storage places in the Girl Tough, starting with two side pockets with flaps that snap shut. I like the “hidden” zipper pocket inside the left chest, which is perfect for my phone. And let’s not forget the zipper pocket on the left wrist, which is great for chapstick!

Some of the less obvious features of the Girl Tough are some of my favorite. The split in the back hem helps make the coat comfortable when I’m riding. I also really like the faux fur lining inside the neckline and hood, because it helps me to feel cozy when there is a chill out.

While the canvas material of the Girl Tough coat feels tough, it does allow me freedom of movement without feeling stiff or restrictive. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

While the canvas material of the Girl Tough coat feels tough, it does allow me freedom of movement without feeling stiff or restrictive. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The soft brushed lining of the Girl Tough also helps to provide warmth, as it is quilted with 40 gram polyester insulation. Looking closely, you can also see the triple stitched seams, which have held up to barn work and riding beautifully.

I also find that the sleeves of the Girl Tough coat are long enough for even my long arms, which I’m happy to report is something that I’ve found to be the case consistently when wearing other tops and outerwear from Noble Outfitters.

I’ve been very happy with the Girl Tough coat, whether I’m riding, working around the barn, or even going out. When riding, the coat does a nice job of blocking the wind and keeping me comfortable. Plus, the split back works really well when I’m in the saddle.

The number of pockets means that I have never have been left wanting more storage space for my phone, chapstick, horse cookies, and more. And I personally have found the canvas fabric to be very durable, especially when I’m moving hay!

Through a lot of wear and working around the barn, the coat still looks fantastic, which I attribute to combination of the tough canvas fabric with the triple stitches seams. I like that the fabric doesn’t appear to show signs of all of the wear it’s been through.

The Girl Tough Canvas Coat is available from Noble Outfitters in three colors; Antique Bronze, Olive and Rose Taupe (pictured). All three colors have a retail price of $149.95, and you can find the coat here.

Go Comfortable and Functional Outerwear. Go Noble Outfitters. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Ariat Bryn Gtx Country Boots

Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.

Pulling the Bryn boots on or kicking them off? Super easy...and I mean SUPER easy. The U Turn Entry System features a flexible gore panel in the back of the boot shaft. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. Pulling the Bryn boots on or kicking them off? Super easy...and I mean SUPER easy. The U Turn Entry System features a flexible gore panel in the back of the boot shaft. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

I’m an extremely practical type of person who likes to plan ahead. Since we’re in the middle of the winter season, that means that I try to dress in an all weather type of way. That way, I’m ready for whatever curveball mother nature decides to throw my way.

Rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain, ice — the whole lot of them tend to frequent the forecast here in the northern half of the country. But it doesn’t bother me so much when I’m outfitted appropriately for winter conditions.

Managing my own barn means that I spend a lot of time outside, regardless of the weather. No matter what the conditions are outside, the horses need to be fed and the stalls need to be mucked each and every day. And all of that work is in addition to my every day job.

One of the biggest downers that I’ve faced while spending time out in wintery conditions is getting my feet wet. Soggy and squishy socks not only feel kind of gross, they also mean that my feet are going to get really cold, really quickly.

No matter what I’m doing, cold feet are never a good thing when the temperatures are down in the teens. Whether I’m getting barn chores done, going for a hack, heading in to the office, or simply going shopping, I need a dependable pair of footwear that can keep my feet dry.

Naturally, I feel like I live in boots this time of the year. I’m so over having to dodge puddles, whether I’m walking through the paddock or a parking lot. What’s important to me is finding a pair that can hold up to barn life, while still look stylish enough for everyday life.

The leather of the Bryn boots is durable feeling, yet I also find that they leave me with the impression of being already broken in right after being pulled out of the box. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The leather of the Bryn boots is durable feeling, yet I also find that they leave me with the impression of being already broken in right after being pulled out of the box. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

This season, one of the pairs of boots that I’ve been wearing have been the Bryn Gtx boots from Ariat. When I first learned about the Working Country line of boots, I was pretty excited. I was very glad to see boots that by all initial appearances, were designed to work as hard as I do.

The Bryn is designed to be a shorter boot, that comes to about mid calf height. From the first time that I picked up a pair, I found myself not wanting to put them down, as the Bryn is crafted out of a premium full grain, waterproof leather upper.

The Bryn also boasts a waterproof and breathable GORE TEX liner. The liner is in place to help keep shield feet from the elements, and it allows vapor to escape, without letting moisture in. And it also features a fashionable plaid pattern!

The leather of the Bryn boots is durable feeling, yet they leave me with the impression of being already broken in right after being pulled out of the box. The boots do feel heavy duty, without seeming like they would weigh my feet down while being worn.

I found the two tone leather look of the boots to be very appealing to the eye. I’ve been wearing the Teak color, which features a lighter tan boot shaft, coupled with a dark brown foot, heel and accenting. The outer side of the boots boast a stylish leather Ariat logo as well.

Upon looking closer, I found myself getting drawn in by the details. I was happy to feel that the stitching of the boots felt to be quite sturdy to me. The piping that borders the edge of the dark brown foot and heel also adds a little something extra to their appearance.

What do I like about Duratread outsole of the Bryn boots? My favorite part is that it is designed to be highly resistant to acids around the barnyard, oils and slips. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

What do I like about Duratread outsole of the Bryn boots? My favorite part is that it is designed to be highly resistant to acids around the barnyard, oils and slips. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Wearing the Bryn boots brought some other features to my attention, which aren’t obvious at first glance. Pulling the boots on or kicking them off? Super easy … and I mean SUPER easy. The U Turn Entry System features a flexible gore panel in the back of the boot shaft.

Which means that the on and off of the boots is easy no matter what the shape of the foot is, and the fit is not compromised to make it happen. I’ve also come to appreciate the Advanced Torque Stability (ATS) Pro technology that the foot bed includes.

But what does ATS mean for feet? The technology supports and cushions feet as they move, which helps promote good posture, while reducing foot fatigue. The foot bed is moisture wicking, and is also features a gel cushion in order to promote support and stability.

The Duratred outsole is heavy duty and luggy feeling. What do I like about Duratread? Well, it is a rubber compound exclusive to Ariat, which is very flexible. My favorite part is that it is designed to be highly resistant to acids around the barnyard, oils and slips.

For me, the Bryn boots have been a terrific winter boot for both work and everyday wear. My favorite features? For one, the super fast and comfortable way that they pull on and off. And the fact that the leather is pliable feeling, so that the boots feel nice during wear.

The Bryn boots work hard around the barn. I’m glad to not have to worry about how stall acids might affect them if I wear them to muck. Also, they pretty much laugh in the face of puddles great and small, because the GORE TEX lining has helped to keep my feet dry.

I’m glad to have a pair of boots on my feet that can tough it out around the barn, and then easily clean up to wear into the office. They look oh so very stylish, and I find myself getting many compliments on them. All Weather. Comfortable. Stylish. I’d say that’s a win.

The Bryn Gtx boots from Ariat are available in both Teak and Ebony. They have a retail price of $329.95, and you can find them here. You can also check out the Braemar Gtx here, which is a tall boot similar to the Bryn that has a retail price of $399.95.

Go Feet that are Dry, Comfortable & Stylish. Go Ariat. Go Eventing.